This morning I left Athens and officially said good-bye to Greece (for the time being). It is hard to even put into words what this trip has meant to me. Our trip started in Tolo, a seaside village with panoramic views. From there we went to Olympia and then Itea, a city at the base of Delphi. We then headed to Athens and finished our trip out on the beautiful island of Karpathos. This study abroad experience was truly like no other since it was such a mobile program. We saw the major highlights of the country in just one month. This was certainly the trip of a lifetime and I will remember the memories I made on this trip for the rest of my life.
In terms of growth, this trip has been huge for me. I was initially interested in the Pitt in Greece program because of its focus on sports. Seeing Ancient Olympia, where the 2004 Olympics were held, and the International Olympic Academy has really solidified that I want to pursue a career in sports. On this trip I also learned the value of learning through doing and seeing first hand as opposed to just reading about something in a book. It was really amazing to visit things that I learned about in history class such as the Acropolis, and Ancient Olympia. This trip has also taught me a lot about myself. I learned to keep an open mind. It can be hard to immerse yourself in a culture that you are not familiar with but through keeping an open mind and making an effort to get to know the locals, I have grown as an individual. I have learned to appreciate and understand different cultures. Additionally, I learned the importance of going with the flow. Since our program was so mobile and we were moving around all the time, we would sometimes run into issues with logistics. This taught me the value of just relaxing and not getting so worked up over things. The Greek way of life is extremely laid back and much less stressful than American life and is something I am going to make a point to incorporate into my own life.
There are several takeaways from my program that I plan to bring to Pitt business. The first takeaway is leadership within a large group of people. On our trip I learned the importance of being an effective leader and leading by doing. This is something I will take with me back to Pitt Business and keep in mind as I navigate through the business world. Another takeaway I plan to bring back to Pitt is being more appreciative. This trip really opened my eyes and heart and made me appreciate all that I have worked so hard for. Coming back to Pitt I plan to take time out every day to reflect and appreciate my day and what I have been blessed with.